The University of Tokyo
Daikin Industries and the University of Tokyo concluded a university-corporate relations agreement in December 2018 and have developed a variety of activities so far. Unlike the conventional individual joint research mainly conducted by researchers, this university-corporate partnership begins with cooperative creation of future vision at the organizational level, and while contemplating together the questions themselves to be addressed, works on solving various social issues. The main feature of these activities is the full-scale exchange of human resources between the two organizations. A number of exchange programs have been implemented, for example, “LOOK Program of UTokyo”, where Daikin employees visiting UTokyo raise and discuss issues with our researchers, and “the Global Internship program”, where our students experience the front line of business at Daikin Industries’ overseas bases. We have realized that through these activities positive earthshaking changes are taking place in both UTokyo and Daikin Industries. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed everything we took for granted. This kind of unknown issues cannot be settled by the expertise of a company nor a university alone. UTokyo engages in a broad spectrum of research and educational activities, while Daikin Industries promotes global business operations intensively focused on the air-conditioning field. In other words, the two are different types of organizations from each other. However, this rather complementary combination of organizations is providing the driving force that will produce valuable innovation required by the future society. I expect this university-corporate partnership to become a major force for paving the way to achieve the better future-society, “Society 5.0”, through the steady contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) amidst the major reform through digital innovation.
Chairman of the Board and Chief Global Group Officer Daikin Industries, Ltd.
As a “company that provides solutions through air,” Daikin Industries aims at sustainable growth and development by resolving social issues associated with air and the environment. In 2050, global demand for air conditioning is expected to triple the present level. From the viewpoint of the SDGs, we consider that it is our important social mission to minimize the impact of global warming to the greatest extent possible while providing comfortable air environments to the world. In the digital era, innovations cannot be created in a closed, in-house environment. As the digital revolution rapidly progresses, practicing open innovation that leads to commercialization is an important managerial requirement, as well as casting aside the principles of self-sufficiency by developing differentiating technologies through industry-academia partnerships and other collaborations with external organizations. We started the collaboration with the University of Tokyo based on the recognition of this requirement. In this partnership, members on both sides aim for a collaboration to create new values through flexible exchanges between the two organizations as we jointly pursue the answer to the question of “what to do together.” To achieve an unprecedented industry-academia partnership, we will promote collaboration over a broad range, including the development of future technologies, formulation of future visions, collaborative startup projects, and global human resource development. The University of Tokyo possesses research capacity and knowledge in the humanities of the highest global standard, and we strongly expect that it will help in the resolution of social issues that would have been difficult for us to handle alone. Through collaboration at “WAIGAYA Stage,” a casual forum for personnel exchanges transcending organizational barriers, we will pursue the resolution of social issues that lead to the attainment of the SDGs.